Disorders of Desire: Sex and Gender in Modern American Sexology

Disorders of Desire: Sex and Gender in Modern American Sexology

Disorders of Desire: Sex and Gender in Modern American Sexology

Disorders of Desire: Sex and Gender in Modern American Sexology

Excerpt

My goal is to make people
take our field seriously, so
that, when we say we are
sexual researchers, people
will no longer laugh.

DONALD MOSHER,
former president, Society for
the Scientific Study of Sex

On May 23, 1983, the sixth World Congress of Sexology convened in Washington, D.C. For one week, more than a thousand delegates considered the history and future of the complex field of sexual science.The diverse group of conferees at the Washington Hilton—educators, physicians, biologists, psychologists, and others—participated in an array of workshops while erotic films ran incessantly in adjoining rooms.Official Washington looked the other way; both the White House and the mayor's office refused to send their routine welcoming message, saying that it would be "inappropriate." The Washington Post covered the conference in an article entitled "Only One Thing on Their Minds." It featured a picture of sex researcherShere Hite standing in front of a blackboard with SEX scrawled across it in huge letters. Some conference speakers alluded to the aura of disrepute surrounding sexology and . . .

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